Running in 2015: Jaybird not sweat proof, Smashrun rocks
My 2015 has been an exceptional year and although due to 2 months of injuries and recoveries, my running has improved compared to the previous year with at least some level of consistency. A rookie mistake in April (running in new shoes on 10km races) completely broke me and I had to reset from the beginning with recovery walks and it took two months to get back to where I was before I broke myself. I still managed to do a hilly 10km in 49min, but the highlight of the year was the Nike Soweto half-marathon which I finished in 1:59.
I did manage to run 288 times and covered on average 5.6km per run. The calories burned are the equivalent of 320 burgers and over the last year I dropped from 78kg to 75kg. My bodyfat dropped from 18,5% to 16,5% and my running pace improved from 5’25” to sub 5′ over the last few months.
Jaybird Bluebuds X disappoints
The biggest disappointment of the year are the Jaybird Bluebuds X which are not sweat-proof at all and I have given up after going through 4 sets where each one did not last longer than 4 weeks. While Jaybird willingly honoured their life-time warranty it was just not practical to return headphones every few weeks and be almost treated like a fraud by the retailer and distributor due to the “unusually” high number of faults. Just the comments on my previous posts show that the issue is bigger than Jaybird wants to admit:
Garmin FR620 – running watch of the year
Don’t get me wrong, when I got the FR620 in May the watch had a dozen of issues and only started properly working around August after a series of firmware updates. Still to date I run with both the FR620 and the Nike Sportswatch, just because I had occasional reboots of the FR620. During May and June running with the Garmin was beyond frustrating as GPS frequently dropped out and the watch spontaneously rebooted.
I do love how quickly the FR620 locks into GPS (it literally takes a few seconds) and I do enjoy the vibrate function (I set a 1km interval alarm and this is really convenient as I do not have to frequently look at the watch). The Wifi sync function is really convenient and battery life lasts forever.
Nike Pegasus 31 and the goodbye of the Nike+ footpod
I am a Nike fan. I think their Dri-FIT clothing is truly awesome. The “Nike Element Half-Zip” are warm enough to run in winter or during windy weather. I only use Nike sportswear for running and gym as I find the clothing very functional and of high quality.
The Nike Pegasus 30 was for me the best running shoe of the year and it was disappointing to see Nike discontinuing the Nike footpod with the Pegasus 31. Although I appreciate that the footpod in the sole of the shoe might reduce flexibility in shoe-design, one can not overlook how convenient it was to “hide” the pod in the shoe. With the footpod gone I will not be able to record any treadmill sessions any more as I do not believe in running with my iPhone and GPS app. I prefer to have a running watch which can record indoor and outdoor sessions (hence my choice in the FR620) and I think over time I will stop using Nike+ (which is a pity, as there is hardly any other eco-system out there which motivates like Nike+).
The Nike Pegasus 31 has for me a bigger “cut” and shoes generally feel very loose. It is a pity that Nike does not properly support the South African market and we only get a fraction of the products (at extremely high prices) – I would guess that I would be able to easily get a narrow Pegasus 31 overseas. Nonetheless, I used the Pegasus 31 for my first half-marathon and the shoe functioned very well – no blisters (I attribute this to Falke socks) or discomfort.
Falke – best running socks – Ever!
There is no debate here. Especially since South Africa is not really spoiled for choice, the best pick in running socks are Falke for me. The socks last incredibly long and have cushioning in the important places and I have never experienced blisters or discomfort when running with Falke.
Smashrun – giving context to your runs
While most running websites (Strava, Endomondo, Garmin) are mostly about the “bling” and to attract as many users as possible and cover all sorts of sport, Smashrun does one thing really, really well: it puts your running into context and was simply build by runners for runners. I picked Smashrun as I was looking for an ecosystem where I can own my running data – something which I was not able to do with Nike or Garmin, as both are proprietary.
For 2015 I am trying to stay injury free and complete my 365 day running streak (right now I am on 155 days running). I also aim at completing my first marathon (quite nervous about this) and in the build up to it complete a number of half-marathons and 10km runs. With all that extra activity I hope to reduce my weight and body-fat further and generally improve overall endurance and fitness.